Accelerators / Health / Health tech / Startups

Arlington’s OxiWear is a finalist for a national health accelerator

Until Oct. 18, fans can vote for the startup to receive up to $50,000.

Shavini Fernando pitching O2Wear at the second annual Georgetown "Bark Bank" pitch competition. (Courtesy OxiWear)

This editorial article is a part of Biotech Month of’s editorial calendar.

Arlington, Virginia’s OxiWear is the latest local company making noise around the country.

The startup, which developed a wearable for vital monitoring and emergency alerts, was selected as a finalist for the American Heart Association’s EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator. The accelerator is open to startups and nonprofits making an impact in health, and a public vote is taking place for OxiWear to secure funding.

After getting selected for the accelerator in July, OxiWear took part in a six-week training course for growing and scaling the business as well as refining the company’s brand story. Fans can vote for the startup once a day through Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. CST. At the finale event on Oct. 19, the first-place winner will receive a grant of $50,000, the second-place winner will receive $12,000 and the fan favorite from voting will receive $5,000.

OxiWear did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the news.

Shavini Fernando founded the company in 2018, while a student at Georgetown University, after being diagnosed with severe pulmonary hypertension owing to Eisenmenger Syndrome. The company took first place in Georgetown’s Bark Tank competition that year. In 2020, added it to the RealLIST Startups list. Two years later, the company raised approximately $3 million, according to the Washington Business Journal, after opening a round in April In December of that year. The company then began shipping its wearable devices, which monitor oxygen levels to avoid hypoxia — the state at which tissues have too little oxygen to maintain homeostasis.

“It’s just so weird how the coin flips — last round, I had to pitch for 1.5 years to close that round,” Fernando told in June 2022. “This round, we opened the first week of April and already we are oversubscribing.”

Vote for OxiWear here

Series: Biotech Month 2023

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